The Northeast Nodaway R-V School Board approved a policy restricting homeschooled and other non-traditional students from playing sports and participating in extracurricular activities during its regular meeting December 21.

Last month, the school board adopted a policy allowing non-traditional students such as homeschooled students to participate in district activities due to new MSHSAA regulations allowing those students to participate. Each school district in the state of Missouri is able to add additional restrictions to the policy.

The policy adopted by the school board was passed six to one, with Darrin Adwell voting no. The updated school policy mandates that in order to participate in activities or sports, students must “receive 86 percent of seat time credits per semester within the district.” The school has eight class periods. If a student attended seven class periods, that would equate to 87.5 percent, making it mandatory that students attend seven class periods each day at the school in order to participate.

Adwell stated that the board’s additions negate the MSHSAA policy that allows students to play sports and join clubs, and also mentioned that families who homeschool still pay taxes and financially contribute to the school. Several other board members stated that they believe Missouri does not have enough accountability for homeschooled students, making it too easy for students to not be getting the education they need.

The school also added additional requirements including that students must take four consecutive credit-bearing classes each semester, the building principal will review classes and transcripts to determine eligibility and more.

The school board purchased the supplemental reading curriculum Really Great Reading for approximately $10,000 with an additional yearly fee of $95. The new materials focus on decoding and other fundamental reading skills.

Members of the track committee were in attendance to hear from the architect designing the new track and baseball field. Several questions were posed about how to save money. Some ideas included not installing a track and focusing on a baseball field. Small pieces of track equipment, such as hurdles, could then be added along the side of the ball field with a graveled area for training.

Other ideas included building a track and not a ball field. The architect will redesign the project and bring new ideas to the board in the future.

The audit showed that the district was non-compliant with budgetary statutes, meaning the district went over budget, and its internal controls did not prevent this. The district also had a lack of segregation of duties, which is common in small schools with fewer staff.

Emily Redden was the Belcher scholarship nominee, winning $200 from the school board. She will compete at the regional level.

The district is finding that parents of preschoolers who need one more year of preschool are sending their children to kindergarten anyway because it is free versus the tuition-based preschool. There was discussion about waiving the fee for preschool if the school recommended the child spend an additional year in the program past the typical enrollment before graduating to kindergarten.

The number of students eating lunch is up four percent and the number of those eating breakfast is down.

The district will host an international exchange student from Brazil.

The special education program evaluation listed outdated technology and curriculum and materials as concerns with the recommendation that teachers increase interventions used in classrooms before making a referral to the program.

The library program evaluation listed purchasing current books to update the library as a concern. Staff has been busy cataloging the inventory.

During a closed session, the resignation of Tracy Hull, special education, was accepted and Katlyn Meiners was hired.